The World's population increases and our knowledge of the limits of our finite resources become ever clearer. Thus, it becomes increasingly important that those of us engaged in research in the production of the food and fiber needs of mankind provide not just information which can provide for maximum production but rather we must provide that information which can lead to production maximization in terms of the most efficient use of our resources.
Soil testing has been a valuable agronomic practice for many years. However, it is becoming increasingly important if we are to realize the desired, indeed essential, highly efficient production of food and fiber. This special publication presents information aimed at this increased efficiency through improved correlation and interpretation of the analytical results obtained during soil testing.
The papers included in this special publication were presented at a symposium held August 27, 1975 during the annual meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America at Knoxville, Tennessee. The symposium was cosponsored by three divisions of the societies and one committee—Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition (S-4), Fertilizer Technology and Use (S-8), Extension Education (A-4), and the Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Committee (S-877).
Our appreciation goes to C. D. Welch, T. R. Peck, E. C. Doll, V. A. Bandel, and W. D. Pardee who organized the symposium; to the editors of this special publication T. R. Peck, J. T. Cope, and D. A. Whitney; and to the authors of these timely and useful papers.
F. L. Patterson, President
American Society of Agronomy
R. L. Mitchell, President
Crop Science Society of America
C. B. Davey, President
Soil Science Society of America
This publication emanates from a special symposium presented at the 1975 American Society of Agronomy annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. The objectives of the symposium were to present procedures and philosophies used to develop guides for soil liming and fertilization practices based on soil test results that result in improved plant growth. This publication is designed to cover topics either omitted or covered inadequately in the book Soil Testing and Plant Analysis. The authors were invited because of expertise in their respective areas. The authors present a range of views on the central theme giving the reader exposure to different philosophies on soil test correlation and interpretation.
Correlation and interpretation are two-stages of developing a soil testing program. Correlation is the process of relating plant performance to an analytical result. Frequently limitations in personnel and budget restrict the experimental work to less than the full range of field conditions. Interpretation is the modifying process to broaden the correlation over a wider range of field conditions. Discussions of the two processes are interwoven in the papers. Presentations by Melsted and Nelson deal more completely with correlation while the major theme of the other papers is interpretation.
The American Society of Agronomy 1975 Soil Testing and Plant Analysis Committee composed of R. J. Bartlett, J. B. Jones, T. R. Peck, E. O. McLean, J. E. Sedberry, and C. D. Welch, chairman organized the program. Special appreciation is expressed to E. C. Doll and C. B. Davey for initiating the idea to schedule the program.
T. R. Peck
J. T. Cope, Jr.
D. A. Whitney